RYE ROWING: Garnets Row in Nationals as Three-Time State Champs

This spring, Rye High Crew, a team of 80 rowers consisting of every grade and both sexes, accomplished what few scholastic teams ever manage to do: their boat won the New York State championship for the third year running.

Published June 27, 2015 12:37 PM
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swim-thThis spring, Rye High Crew, a team of 80 rowers consisting of every grade and both sexes, accomplished what few scholastic teams ever manage to do: their boat won the New York State championship for the third year running.

By Mitch Silver

swimmersThis spring, Rye High Crew, a team of 80 rowers consisting of every grade and both sexes, accomplished what few scholastic teams ever manage to do: their boat won the New York State championship for the third year running.

The 4+ team (four rowers and a coxswain) took on 33 other entries on Saratoga’s waters May 9-10. Brendan Faries, Kiefer Mueller, Jim Palmer, Jack Smith, and Ally Sullivan crossed first in 5:10.8, four seconds ahead of Buffalo’s Canisius High School.

The gold was Palmer’s second of the weekend. On Saturday, he won the Boys’ Singles in 6:45.8, edging out rowers from Saratoga and Orange County by little more than a second. It was Palmer’s second straight year to bag two golds. In 2014, he teamed with then-senior Grant Janart to take the Boys’ Pairs.

Underclassmen took home medals at Saratoga as well. The Girls’ Junior 2x took bronze, as did the Boys’ Freshman 8+. The Boys’ Lightweight 2x and Junior 8 boats, and the Girls’ Lightweight 4+, all came away with silver.

Then, with a month of rigorous training under their team’s belts, coaches Stan Nelson and Catharine Labine took their charges to the U.S. Nationals in Sarasota June 12-14. Palmer, still adjusting to Florida’s humidity, managed only a fourth-place finish in his heat. But the next morning, he blasted through the 2,000-meter repechage, or second-chance, race in a winning time that was more than 30 seconds faster than his opener.

Palmer made it into Sunday’s final by finishing third in his semi, but he would have to face fresher rowers in the championship race — none having had to make it through via repechage. His fifth-place finish in 7:36.7 left him nine seconds off the podium.

Coach Nelson put it this way: “Jim really showed he has the heart of a champion to come out of the Reps the way he did. You rarely see kids row an extra race and make it into the A final.”

Later in the day, the senior returned to stroke the 4+ team to a third-place finish in the C Final, 500ths of a second behind second-place Arlington Belmont. The lightweight 2x boat of John Dailey and Adam Rudolph-Math also finished second in their C Final, less than four seconds behind the winners.

All in all, the club that began in the spring of 2007 with five boys and five girls has rowed a long, long way.

 

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